Here at Gear.com, we are big fans of the team over at Coalatree. They have been led by their principles of eco-minded design for years, and always impress us with their creativity and enthusiasm for unique styles and sustainable work. We totally dig their vibe.
One place where Coalatree has distinguished themselves is in being absolute masters of crowdfunding, raising more than $2 million on sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. We recently sat down with J.M. Fabrizi, Coalatree's head of brand management, to discuss everything from sustainability to the coronavirus. We have the full audio of the interview linked below for you, but in addition, we wanted to share one key piece of value for anyone else out there who is considering following in Coalatree's wise crowdfunding footsteps.
Straight from J.M. Fabrizi, in his own words, below are Coalatree's proven 7 keys to a successful crowdfunding campaign.
LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW: anchor.fm/gear
COALATREE'S 7 KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN
Crowdfunding is a whole different animal than it was 10 years ago. Not only is it a place to put some rad new ideas out to the world, but it’s a place to prove a concept, to get funding, and to create a community that supports your for life. Crowdfunding is evolving and the products that are featured on crowdfunding campaigns are doing the same thing.
Coalatree is a company that has done some impactful work with their own Crowdfunding campaigns in the past. This guide highlights exactly what the brand has done to create 8+ successful crowdfunding campaigns that have raised over $2 million in funding.
In order to have a successful crowdfunding campaign you should focus on 7 key aspects prior to launch. These 7 aspects are what Coalatree has focused on and the method that has proven to be successful. So, before we get into our secret sauce, check out the 8+ campaigns that we have run within the past three years below.
As you watch these videos and look through the landing pages, look out for the style, music, and script so as you go to create your own campaign you will have some examples to base yours off of.
- Switchback Travel Shirt (Our Latest Campaign): https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/coalatree/1127580327?ref=csv5eu&token=bf80519b
- Kachula Blanket (First Campaign Ever): https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/coalatree/kachula-20-the-packable-multi-use-adventure-blanke
- Trailhead Adventure Pants (one of the most popular Coalatree products ever): https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/coalatree/trail-head-20-the-ultimate-packable-technical-pant
- Puffy Kachula (a new take on the first Kickstarter): https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/coalatree/puffy-kachula-a-cozy-and-functional-blanket-ready
- Trailhead Adventure Shorts (like the popular Trailhead pants...but shorter): https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/coalatree/trailhead-adventure-shorts
- Camper Hooded Jacket (everyone needs a hooded jacket): https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/coalatree/camper-hooded-jacket-20
- Evolution Hoodie - Made with Recycled Coffee Grounds (Highest Funded): https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/coalatree/evolution-hoodie-made-from-recycled-coffee-grounds
- Whistler Windbreaker (High Tech ode to everyone's favorite riding and climbing in BC): https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/coalatree/whistler-self-healing-windbreaker
The 7 Keys to success:
- Build a brand. Not a product - This mindset is something you need to take with you into every crowdfunding campaign you run. You are not running a campaign to build one product, you are crowdfunding to build a brand. Crowdfunding platforms are a place where people will yearn and grow with your brand as you treat them right, so do so. Don’t be a one and done kind of product. Continue to evolve and push your brand to better places. Your crowdfunding community will follow you as you do so.
- Build a team - “Together Each Achieves More.” As you prepare to run your Crowdfunding campaign, you will need to make sure that you have a solid team in place. Individuals who compliment your weaknesses and strengths. Individuals who bring new ideas to the table. And individuals who are hyped and stoked about your new product and brand.
- Do the dirty work - Crowdfunding is a great place to launch a new product, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. There is a lot of effort that you will need to put in, especially before the launch. You will have to create your video, create a community that is stoked about your new product, gather emails, and create graphics that showcases your products features!
- Reach your funding goal quickly - There is a lot of good that happens when you reach your goal quickly. Backers get more excited about your product, because they see that it is almost funded and begin to tell their friends. Your campaign can rise to the platform’s front page which will lead to free traffic. Your product builds legitimacy, social proof and new customers will be even more eager to back your campaign.
- Tell a story - “The Power of the Narrative” Humans have grown up hearing stories and they long to hear the originality, heart-aches, and triumphs of your brand. Don’t be shy of telling them the truth about where your brand/product came from. The more honest and real you are with your backers the more honest and real their feedback will be to you.
- Update - Once funded you will want to give updates to your backers to let them know what is going on with the product as well as your company. Use these updates to let them in on inside secrets, your employees, and when they can expect their product. Backers love the feeling of knowing what is going on with what they have just backed. And if you are telling them stories or secrets that only backers know, it will create a stronger community and loyalty to your brand.
- Fulfill on time - We live in a society where we can order something today and get it within two days time (which is remarkable if you really think about it). With Crowdfunding campaigns it is a little different. Products can take up to five months to be received after backing. Which is why updating your backers is important of where their product is and fulfilling it is even more important. If you fulfill your first campaign on time, the community you worked hours on creating, will come back to you for future campaigns and products. This is one of the last chances you have to impress your backers, so don’t mess it up. Under promise and over deliver.
These are 7 aspects which we have tried perfecting over the last several years of doing Crowdfunding campaigns. We haven’t been perfect by any means, but we have gotten closer with every campaign we have run. We look forward to hearing of your successes and the great products which you come up with.
- J.M. Fabrizi